Pumpkin Muffins – Inspired by “Cinderella”

Rogers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”

My first introduction to this version of the Cinderella fairy tale, like many of my fellow Millennials, was the made-for-tv version staring Brandy in the title role and a star-studded cast in the supporting roles, including Whitney Houston, Whoopie Goldberg, and Bernadette Peters. It was one of my favorite movie musicals as a child.

The musical has had multiple incarnations over the years, beginning with a made-for-tv version staring Julie Andrews, then another staring Lesley Ann Warren, and in recent years it finally made it to Broadway (though a stage version has been available for licensing for many years). The show follows the traditional story including the wicked stepfamily, charming prince, royal ball, fairy godmother, and, of course, the glass slippers. It features fantastic theatrical moments including the magical transformation to get Cinderella to the ball.

Going to the Ball

I had the pleasure being in a youth production of “Cinderella” when I was in middle school with Family Players (a troupe that sadly no longer exists) as a member of the ensemble. Years later, I found out that I had actually shared the stage with my future sister-in-law. Somehow, while at my fiancĂ©’s parents’ house, we started talking about summer shows at a local amphitheater, and his mom mentioned that his sister, Jen, had been in a production of “Cinderella.” Sure enough, my future-mother-in-law pulled out a cast picture and there she and I both were. It will never cease to amaze me how truly small this world is!

The Inspiration

A traditional part of the Cinderella fairy tale is her Fairy Godmother turning a “plain yellow pumpkin” into a “golden carriage.” So clearly a pumpkin treat was in order. I chose to do a muffin for a few reasons: 1. I haven’t shared a muffin recipe yet. 2. I wanted to give a little nod to Cinderella’s glass slippers, and I though a sugar topping for the muffins would do just that. So here are some delicious pumpkin muffins that are super easy to whip up and definitely a family-friendly recipe.

The Recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Sift together the flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. Mix together sugar, brown sugar, and oil. Add in eggs one at a time. Mix in the pumpkin puree.

4. Add in the dry ingredients in 2-3 additions until fully combined.

5. OPTIONAL – Mix in the wheat germ to the dough.

6. Line muffin tins with paper liners (I chose green because of the pumpkin concept – thinking vines and stems, but anything you like or have works) and spray with baking spray for easier release. Use a large scoop (golf ball size) to fill the muffin papers – each muffin takes about 2 scoops full.

7. Sprinkle the sugar in the raw over the muffins. Be sure to cover the tops of each muffin with the sugar completely. Tip – put the sugar on right before the muffins go in the oven. If they sit too long with the sugar on top, the sugar will absorb into the dough and won’t have the “broken glass” effect on top after baking.

8. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

9. Let cool completely before eating. Enjoy!

Yields 15 muffins. Approximately 202 calories per muffin.


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